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inspirational books/biographies about the non-fiction writing life?

I'm neck deep in writing an academic book at the moment, and on the worst days I lose the will to live. To dislodge myself from the daily temptation to nuke the whole manuscript, slit my wrists and be done with it all, I've been trying to keep motivated by reading good accounts of the life of writers. I would love recommendations! Details inside. [more inside]
posted by starcrust on Jul 18, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me find some new books to love.

I am looking for something in the area of science biography. Particularly, I enjoy reading about the inner lives of great minds. I'm not really interested in gossipy type info, but more about the personal growth and development of the scientist him/herself that paralleled their work. [more inside]
posted by JanewayJunior on Feb 22, 2014 - 18 answers

Yes, I've seen Titanic.

I'm interested in stories (real or fictional) about people who have intentionally changed their identities following some sort of disaster in which they were presumed dead.
posted by phunniemee on Feb 11, 2014 - 31 answers

Cookery books that don't have recipes in them

What are some books, cookery or otherwise about food, that contain stories about people's memories of/experiences with food and eating? [more inside]
posted by Solomon on Jan 11, 2014 - 60 answers

Recommendations for biographies of big thinkers

I just finished reading Jeremy Adelman's biography of Albert O. Hirschman. I loved the book because it vividly explained Hirschman's ideas (he was an economist and scholar of political thought) and because Hirschman had a fascinating and compelling life story. Can you recommend biographies of major thinkers in the social sciences and philosophy?
posted by EtTuHealy on Sep 9, 2013 - 4 answers

Biographies where the subject dies long before the book ends

Can you recommend any well regarded biographies where the subject dies long before the end of the book? (The latter half of the book could be focused on the reaction to their death, an examination of the impact of their ideas or work over the following decades, etc.)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Jul 22, 2013 - 6 answers

Where can I read the diary of charles whitman the texas shooter

The texas clocktower shooter had a diary seen here that looks like it was published but where can I read it?
posted by john123357 on Jun 25, 2013 - 2 answers

Looking for inspiring autobiographies of sucessful people

I'd like them to be gripping and entertaining as well. As in, I could read them before going to bed without falling asleep out of boredom. Focus on successful entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists.
posted by spacefire on Apr 19, 2013 - 6 answers

Who are the students from east Asia?

I don't know how else to phrase this maladroit and overlong "question," but… who are the foreign undergraduate and graduate students? [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Apr 6, 2013 - 13 answers

Storytellers, thinkers, and musicians who are worth fully engaging with?

I believe I may suffer from a derth of artistic and intellectual heroes. Help me fix that. What artists and thinkers are worth engaging with fully as an adult? By "engaging with fully," I mean making a concerted effort to consume all of their output, several times, as well as seeking out supplementary information about them by way of interviews, criticism, documentaries, collected letters, biographies, etc. etc. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Mar 15, 2013 - 50 answers

Actor portrayls of noted authors & or philosophers

After viewing the excellent "A Man for All Seasons" IMDb and the BBC's Kierkegaard - Sea of Faith YouTube I'm in want of viewing other portraryls of noted authors & philosphers. What are your recommendations? [more inside]
posted by MeatyBean on Oct 11, 2012 - 8 answers

Family Secrets on Film

Documentaries about ordinary people, their secrets and inner lives. [more inside]
posted by Fairchild on Sep 21, 2012 - 36 answers

Good Borgia histories?

Recommend to me biographies/histories of the Borgia Pope and family? [more inside]
posted by asciident on Sep 3, 2012 - 5 answers

MetaBiography

Help me find a way to get others to tell stories about my long-deceased father online. I'm thinking a Wikipedia-type, open-source place where folks can go and log in (or not) and add their portions of the story of his life. I imagine childhood friends sharing vignettes from 5th grade, high school girlfriends, co-workers, people I don't have access to adding stories.
posted by kristymcj on Aug 15, 2012 - 2 answers

Hundred-Year-Old Job Descriptions?

Where can I find job descriptions for jobs from the 1850s-1950s? [more inside]
posted by kristi on Jul 31, 2012 - 6 answers

Where can I find accounts of non-anglophone eccentrics?

Britain is famed for celebrating its eccentrics, followed closely by America and Ireland. Elsewhere - maybe not so much. I'm sure they must exist, but I'm having trouble finding them. [more inside]
posted by BWA on Jul 24, 2012 - 18 answers

Tesla Biography

Which biography of Nikola Tesla should I read?
posted by bytewrite on Jul 21, 2012 - 5 answers

Memoirs from Scientists

Looking for more memoirs from scientists, along the lines of Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Robert Sopolsky's A Primate's Memoir, and Daniel Everett's Don't Sleep There Are Snakes. [more inside]
posted by Curiosity Delay on Jun 30, 2012 - 10 answers

Looking for a good memoir/autobiography

I like first-person accounts of intellectual/professional adventure. What should I be reading? [more inside]
posted by holterbarbour on Jun 27, 2012 - 37 answers

Books on writing a memoir, with extra credit: not your own

Books on writing a memoir, with extra credit: not your own [more inside]
posted by kandinski on Jun 5, 2012 - 3 answers

Best biography of Jefferson?

Biography recommendations for Thomas Jefferson? [more inside]
posted by StephenF on Mar 26, 2012 - 6 answers

Great Escapes: Examples Thereof

I'm looking for examples (biographies, documentaries, blogs...any format, really) about people who made the decision to completely change the direction of their lives, particularly folks who went from a typical "day job/corporate career" into something less mainstream. [more inside]
posted by xingcat on Feb 21, 2012 - 13 answers

Things learned by reading biographies

How did reading a biography learn you a valuable lesson, help you gain a crucial insight, change your worldview or impact you in some other, non-trivial way? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Feb 14, 2012 - 13 answers

Funny books by funny people

Loved Bossypants by Tina Fey! Looking for more comedic autobiographies (bonus points if the audio version is read by the author).
posted by carnivoregiraffe on Feb 13, 2012 - 27 answers

Help me think of a word that describes a fawning biography.

Help me think of a word that describes a fawning biography. [more inside]
posted by Cwell on Feb 8, 2012 - 16 answers

Daniel Webster Biography

What's the best, most readable biography of Daniel Webster? [more inside]
posted by Partial Law on Jan 24, 2012 - 2 answers

Who/what has inspired you to have more passion and better work ethic?

I'm looking for inspirational stories of people with a vision they're passionate about, and the work ethic to accomplish what they set out to. Tales that make you come away thinking "Yes, that is how I want to be living my life" and charge you up for the work you're doing. They don't have to be people you'd generally admire or seek to emulate - whatever their goals, it's that spark/drive/dedication/grit I'm most interested in. [more inside]
posted by ChristopherS on Nov 5, 2011 - 10 answers

"I'd rather sink -- than call Brad for help!"

Good Roy Lichtenstein biography? [more inside]
posted by bardic on Oct 17, 2011 - 2 answers

Bike Books

Recommend some good books about bikes? [more inside]
posted by applemeat on Sep 18, 2011 - 27 answers

Internet estate curation?

Internet estate curation, or: How to get a better biography of an author "out there"? [more inside]
posted by progosk on Aug 30, 2011 - 5 answers

Help me find inspiration

What are the best biographies/autobiographies/memoirs/novels for inspiration and psyching up? [more inside]
posted by 3491again on Jul 18, 2011 - 8 answers

Looking for suggestions of really great memoirs to read

I have been enjoying reading memoirs lately and would like some suggestions for more books I might enjoy. [more inside]
posted by JoannaC on Jun 28, 2011 - 50 answers

Please suggest some good oral histories

What are the best oral histories to read? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 27, 2011 - 18 answers

Looking for a book about what it's like to be paralyzed from the waist down in a wheelchair.

I'm looking for a book that will give me a full and complete sense (down to the nitty-gritty) of what it's like to be paralyzed from the waist down and to live life in a wheelchair. I've looked at some very clinical manuals that do explain things, but the wording is very dry. I'm looking for an account that is more personal. I'm hoping some of you could suggest some good ones you have read.
posted by Sully on May 25, 2011 - 15 answers

Best Magritte Book?

I've recently fallen completely in love with Homesickness by Magritte and find myself quite enamored by his other works as well. Summer is coming, and although I have no background in Art History, I really want to know more about Rene. What is the best book I can read about his life and art? [more inside]
posted by Chipmazing on May 11, 2011 - 5 answers

Books about the swashbuckling history of science?

Recommend some books about the history of 17th, 18th and 19th century science. [more inside]
posted by hilaritas on Mar 19, 2011 - 18 answers

Help me find this book that is about a drug addict who steals bikes in Amsterdam to feed his drug habit. It is a diary-style of book.

Help me find this book that is about a drug addict who steals bikes in Amsterdam to feed his drug habit. It is a diary-style of book. [more inside]
posted by darkgroove on Feb 22, 2011 - 5 answers

Vivid Nonfiction

I just finished reading The Starship and the Canoe, and I'm craving more long-form nonfiction pieces like it. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Taft on Jan 16, 2011 - 7 answers

Do you know Emily Dickinson?

I would like to read a biography of Emily Dickinson. Do you know of a well written, not too highly academic one? [more inside]
posted by kanata on Dec 14, 2010 - 9 answers

armstrong bio

Is there a definitive biography of Neil Armstrong? [more inside]
posted by rog on Nov 11, 2010 - 8 answers

Stories about sudden terrible incidents which overturned a life

Looking for books written by someone who lived a normal stable life and due to a tragic unexpected event beyond their control, their life was turned upside down. [more inside]
posted by vizsla on Oct 11, 2010 - 22 answers

Who Was Donald Barr Chidsey?

Does anyone have more information about the author Donald Barr Chidsey? [more inside]
posted by JeremiahBritt on Sep 14, 2010 - 4 answers

How to not write a DJ-profile

What are some common clichés, patterns, or unwritten rules that you find in profiles/bios for DJs? I'm putting together a bit of writing on how DJs are marketed through the strategic presentation of their biographical information. Some examples inside. [more inside]
posted by LMGM on Aug 16, 2010 - 8 answers

Psych Me Up

Can you recommend a few strong lady stories? [more inside]
posted by *s on Aug 4, 2010 - 34 answers

Biographies of abstract thinkers wanted

Looking for biographies of scientists or mathematicians. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jul 27, 2010 - 22 answers

Not toilet reading, even though about LBJ.

Recommend the best LBJ biography! [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jun 29, 2010 - 21 answers

What are the best punk books and documentaries on the history of punk music?

What are some fantastic books and documentaries on the history of punk music? Basically, the type of music in this thread with an emphasis on Dead Kennedys, Misfits, Fugazi, and Bad Brains. I already have Rip It Up And Start Again, Our Band Could Be Your Life, Get In The Van, and Instrument.
posted by yaymukund on Jun 20, 2010 - 23 answers

Duke Ellington biography?

Can anyone recommend a good Duke Ellington biography and/or the standard biography? I'm particularly interested in one that takes his later work seriously.
posted by OmieWise on May 12, 2010 - 6 answers

Biography on William Henry Harrison?

Can anyone recommend a good biography of United States president William Henry Harrison? [more inside]
posted by GatorFan2000 on Apr 15, 2010 - 6 answers

Extreme Sports Books

Any good books about extreme sports? [more inside]
posted by alextprice on Apr 13, 2010 - 8 answers

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